How do you deploy nearly 1000 iPads?

Recently I had a meeting with the regional manager of Next Byte. She commented that within the state of Queensland, Nambour Christian College (NCC) may be the largest user of iPad technology North of Brisbane. Perhaps this explains why several schools have began to liaise with our College.

We have employed innovative strategies and have deployed 1000 iPads to enrich teaching and learning. 90% of our fleet operate as 1 to 1 devices from 4-12 and the remaining tablets have been used as classroom sets from P-3. Teachers and most teacher assistants are equipped with the assistive technology.

The adoption of iPad technology has been an interesting, empowering and exciting process. The task has also been relatively simple. Volume Purchasing of Apps and deploying these has been a steep learning curve, however, the operation has been fairly smooth. Most of our iPads are used to assist personal learning and in result students use the device as though it were their own. Costs are incurred for damages and routine checks are undertaken to ensure acceptable use of technology. We have used Apple Configurator on our remaining iPad fleet and configured the devices as classroom sets. The Junior classes are coached in the use of the devices to ensure the technology transforms their learning and accelerates Literacy and Numeracy skills.

We have learnt a lot from visiting other schools and in order to invest back into the cycle of learning I have constructed two videos that explain our process of iPad deployment. Within the moth of February, we distributed almost 900 iPads within five days. It should be stated that information and documentation regarding iPad setup and required Apps were listed on our Parent and Student Portal.

iPad Deployment at NCC Primary (Year 4-6) included 190 devices.

iPad Deployment at NCC Secondary (Middle School and Senior School) included 700 devices.
After the deployment there have been a series of workshops that have been conducted with each class. Students have been educated in the following general capabilities and key understandings;
  • Gestures
  • App and Folder Organization
  • Gaming
  • iMessage
  • Notifications and 'Do Not Disturb'
  • Camera and Photos
  • Privacy Settings
  • iCloud
  • DropBox
  • Email, Signatures and Netiquette
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
People may argue that students are 'Digital Natives', however, I am of the mind that children don't just learn manners through osmosis, but, etiquette should be taught to ensure acceptable behavior. If a child is never shown how to eat properly they are uncultured and become uncivilized. To ensure correct digital citizenship, students must receive education in the use of digital technology.


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